Kyodo News reports that Nissan Motor Co. plans to boost production in Southeast Asia to sell more vehicles in the region's booming automobile market.

''We are enhancing our operations in Southeast Asia, we need to respond to the growth of the region,'' Gina Pasco, Tokyo-based manager for global communications told Kyodo.

As part of the plan, the company recently spent $10 million to establish its first Asian headquarters, Nissan Asia Pacific, in Singapore to provide overseas marketing and product planning support for its operations in the region, she said.

It also plans to ramp up production in its existing car-assembly plants in Thailand and Indonesia with a view to exporting to other Southeast Asian countries.

The company has already begun to implement a three-year export program for the region, which was launched earlier this year.

The move to expand production is part of Nissan's overall target to boost annual global sales of passenger and commercial vehicles to 4.2 million by 2008, Pasco said.

It plans to increase production in Thailand from 130,000 units a year to 200,000 by 2008, and will invest more than $250 million for the purpose.

Concerning its factory in Indonesia, which is currently operating below capacity, the company plans to increase production from 12,000 units a year to 40,000 units in 2008.

Nissan sold about 110,000 vehicles in Southeast Asia last year, according to Pasco.